Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Quercus pungens


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Pavek, Diane S. 1993. Quercus pungens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : QUEPUN SYNONYMS : Quercus undulata Torr. var. pungens Engelm. [2] SCS PLANT CODE : QUPU QUPUV COMMON NAMES : sandpaper oak Vasey shin oak scrub oak TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of sandpaper oak is Quercus pungens Liebm. It is a member of the beech family (Fagaceae) [17]. In addition to the typical variety, there is one recognized variety, Vasey shin oak (Q. p. var. vaseyana [Buckl.] C. H. Muller) [10,27,35]. Sandpaper oak hybrizes with gray oak (Quercus grisea) in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and Texas [37]. This report presents information for both sandpaper and Vasey shin oaks. Information applicable to both is presented under sandpaper oak. When publications specifically used Vasey shin oak, the information is presented under that name. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Sandpaper and Vasey shin oaks are widespread throughout the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Scattered, isolated populations continue southward into the state of Tamaulipas and proceed westward into Chihuahua, Mexico [10,21,27]. Populations of sandpaper oak extend northward into the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas [16,21] and westward to the mountains of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona [17]. Sandpaper oak has been reported from southern Colorado [4]; however, Harrington [14] was unable to locate any specimens supporting this range extension. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES32 Texas savanna FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES21 Ponderosa pine STATES : AZ NM TX MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K019 Arizona pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K031 Oak - juniper woodlands K032 Transition between K031 and K037 K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna SAF COVER TYPES : 66 Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper 67 Shin (Mohrs) oak 235 Cottonwood - willow 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon - juniper 240 Arizona cypress 241 Western live oak 242 Mesquite SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Sandpaper oak occurs with true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) and desert ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii) as a dominance type in the chaparral formations in the Guadalupe Mountains, Texas [9,26] and the montane chaparral of the Chihuahuan Desert region [15]. Sandpaper oak is a characteristic member of juniper (Juniperus spp.)-oak (Quercus spp.) communities and intermixes with desert scrub savanna in the canyons of central and western Texas [8,33]. In Texas sandpaper or Vasey shin oaks are a dominant or characteristic species in the Mohr shin oak (Quercus mohriana) series, oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) series, and sandpaper oak-true mountain-mahogany series [33]. Sandpaper or Vasey shin oaks are dominant species in the following publications: (1) Vegetation and community types of the Chihuahuan Desert [15] (2) Plant communities of Texas (Series level) [33]. Several species that were not previously included in Distribution and Occurrence information but occur with sandpaper oak are cane cholla (Opuntia imbricata), purplefruited pricklypear (O. phaecantha), Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana), hairy tridens (Erioneuron pilosum), and plateau oak (Quercus fusiformis) [7,8,9,22].


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : The oaks of Arizona, which includes sandpaper oak, rarely grow large enough to use as timber. The wood may be used locally for fuel and fence posts [17]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Vasey shin oak is lightly grazed in Texas by cattle, sheep, goats, and white-tailed deer [6]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Vasey shin oak acorns have a high food value, and its leaves have a medium food value for white-tailed deer in the Rolling Plains and the Edwards Plateau of Texas [5]. Actively growing Vasey shin oak sprouts are nutritious, with a crude protein content of about 13 to 17 percent [29]. COVER VALUE : Vasey shin oak has high cover value, providing escape and thermal cover for white-tailed deer [5]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Vasey shin oak, live oak (Quercus virginiana), and Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) have invaded savannas on the Edwards Plateau in Texas due to suppressed fires and overgrazing [19,22,29]. Mechanical methods and herbicides have successfully controlled Vasey shin oak [22,30,31]. Vasey shin oak breaks at ground level when chained and sprouts 1 year later, providing important forage for white-tailed deer. Intense browsing of the sprouts will kill Vasey shin oak [29]. Browse biomass estimates of Vasey shin oak from various regression formulae have been evaluated for predictive ability. Log-log models accounted for the most variability in Vasey shin oak samples at Sonora, Texas [6]. Poisoning by sandpaper or Vasey shin oak was not described in the literature, but oak poisoning of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats is a problem on some rangelands in the southwestern United States. Poisoning occurs when oak foliage or acorns are exclusively consumed, which may happen in the spring when other food is scarce [18,24].


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Sandpaper oak is a native, evergreen to subevergreen shrub or medium-size tree [10,27]. It grows 3.3 to 6.6 feet (1-2 m) tall as a shrub and to 26 feet (8 m) tall as a tree [11]. The thick, simple, coarsely toothed leaves are 3.5 inches (9 cm) long [10,27]. Female catkins produce 1 to 3 flowers; male catkins have numerous flowers. Fruits are solitary or paired acorns [35] about 0.4 inch (1 cm) long [10,17]. Vasey shin oak has shallowly lobed leaves [27] and larger (up to 0.9 inch [2.2 cm]) acorns than sandpaper oak [11]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual reproduction: Sandpaper oak is monoecious. Acorns are produced annually [10,35]. No information was found in the literature on seed germination requirements. However, the other southwestern oaks (Quercus spp.) have no seed dormancy. Most germination occurs within 30 days after acorns drop from the trees [23]. On the Edwards Plateau in Texas Vasey shin oak occurs as individuals or clumps in a semiarid grassland. A seedbank study was done, but plots were specifically chosen to exclude woody plants. Woody species were a minimum of 30 feet (10 m) from the plots. No Vasey shin oak germinated in the plots [19]. Asexual reproduction: Vasey shin oak readily sprouts following topgrowth removal [29]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Sandpaper oak is found in gravelly or rocky soils [2] that are often shallow (less than 9.8 inches [25 cm] deep) [29,33]. Soil texture may be stoney clay [30]. Sandpaper oak grows on middle to upper slopes and in lower canyons of desert mountains [11,15,27] and along arroyos [35]. Sandpaper oak occurs in open shrublands on dry sites or in closed canopy woodlands on more moist sites [33]. Sandpaper oak is found in semiarid to subhumid climates with hot summers and mild winters [30]. It occurs at moderate elevations from 3,500 to 6,000 feet (1,067-1,829 m) [2,10,27,33]. Vasey shin oak has been classified as an edaphic specialist limited to limestone [25]. Sandpaper oak occurs on but is not restricted to calcareous soils derived from limestone [11]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Climax Species Sandpaper oak occurs in climax oak woodlands or chaparral and oak-juniper communities. In Texas the mixed-grass prairie has been replaced by oak-juniper disclimax. Vasey shin oak, plateau oak, and Ashe juniper have increased due to fire suppression and overgrazing [29]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Sandpaper oak flowers in late spring. Fruits mature the first autumn after flowering [2]. The leaves persist 1 year until new leaves are produced [2]; however, they may drop in late winter [6,11].


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Sandpaper oak is present as a low-growing form in desert grassland of southeastern Arizona. Benson and Darrow [2] speculated that these small trees were possibly the survivors of repeated ancient or recent fires. Oaks generally survive low intensity fast fires [23]. Fire return intervals in the oak woodlands are longer than in the past due to fire suppression and fuel removal by overgrazing [36]. All of the oaks of Arizona, which includes sandpaper oak, sprout prolifically following top-kill by fire [23]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/soboliferous species root sucker Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire top-kills sandpaper and Vasey shin oaks; surviving plants are stimulated to sprout [7]. Unburied acorns are probably killed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : The responses of sandpaper or Vasey shin oaks to fire were not found in the literature. Because sandpaper oak sprouts vigorously following removal of top growth, recovery should be fairly rapid, similar to the response of other southwestern oaks that sprout (e.g., Emory oak [Quercus emoryi]) [36]. Site factors will influence the length of time required to achieve prefire crown cover. Potentially, the postfire community could be more dense from sandpaper oak sprouting than the original community. If establishment depends on off-site seed, rates of recovery will vary depending on the proximity of seed trees and animal facilitation. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Prescribed burning is recommended to open up dense Ashe juniper stands and to encourage Vasey shin oak, other shin oaks (Quercus spp.), and plateau oak to sprout [1,7].


SPECIES: Quercus pungens
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In: Lutz, R. Scott; Wester, David B., editors. Research highlights--1991: Noxious brush and weed control; range and wildlife management. Volume 22. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences: 9-13. [18350] 6. Bryant, F. C.; Kothmann, M. M. 1979. Variability in predicting edible browse from crown volume. Journal of Range Management. 32(2): 144-146. [10292] 7. Bryant, F. C.; Launchbaugh, G. K.; Koerth, B. H. 1983. Controlling mature ashe juniper in Texas with crown fires. Journal of Range Management. 36(2): 165-168. [13813] 8. Bryant, Vaughn B., Jr. 1974. Late quaternary pollen records from the east-central periphery of the Chihuahuan Desert. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 3-21. [16055] 9. Burgess, Tony L.; Northington, David K. 1974. Desert vegetation in the Guadalupe Mountains region. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 229-242. [16061] 10. Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p. [4003] 11. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987] 12. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 13. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. 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Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563] 18. Kingsbury, John M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 626 p. [122] 19. Kinucan, R. J.; Smeins, F. E. 1992. Soil seed bank of a semiarid Texas grassland under three long-term (36-years) grazing regimes. American Midland Naturalist. 128: 11-21. [19633] 20. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 21. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1976. Atlas of United States trees. Volume 3. Minor western hardwoods. Misc. Publ. 1314. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 13 p. 290 maps. [10430] 22. McGinty, A.; Smeins, Fred E.; Merrill, Leo B. 1983. Influence of spring burning on cattle diets and performance on the Edwards Plateau. Journal of Range Management. 36(2): 175-178. [13782] 23. McPherson, Guy R. 1992. Ecology of oak woodlands in Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands: perspectives in the sw United States & n Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 24-33. [19737] 24. Muenscher, W. C. 1940. Poisonous plants of the United States. New York: MacMillan Co. 266 p. [18141] 25. Muller, Cornelius H. 1952. Ecological control of hybridization in Quercus: a factor in the mechanism of evolution. Evolution. 6(2): 147-161. [10666] 26. Northington, David K.; Burgess, Tony L. 1979. Summary of the vegetative zones of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. In: Genoways, Hugh H.; Baker, Robert J., eds. Biological investigations in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Proceedings of a symposium; 1975 April 4-5; Lubbock, TX. Proceedings and Transactions Series No. 4. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 51-57. [16017] 27. Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park, TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p. [6130] 28. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 29. Rollins, Dale; Bryant, Fred C. 1986. Floral changes following mechanical brush removal in central Texas. Journal of Range Management. 39(3): 237-240. [10415] 30. Rollins, Dale; Bryant, Fred C.; Waid, Douglas D.; Bradley, Lisa C. 1988. Deer response to brush management in central Texas. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 16(3): 277-284. [9671] 31. Smith, H. N.; Rechenthin, C. A. 1965. Grassland restoration: The Texas brush problem. Temple, TX: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 33 p. [20742] 32. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 33. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 1992. Plant communities of Texas (Series level): February 1992. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Natural Heritage Program. 38 p. [20509] 34. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 35. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. 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